Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Event processing = big data + real time ?

BIG DATA is a hot phrase, one can also be labelled as "BIG DATA NERD" by purchasing the shirt shown above.   The term BIG DATA refers to the explosion of data in the universe, especially methods to store and process huge amount of data.   

Paul Vincent poses the question:  CEP = real-time bid-data?     Actually he doesn't answer this question on his blog posting, but the spirit of the postings makes the impression that the "=" relations is evaluated to "True".    

The answer is that it is not really an equality, but more like an intersecting concepts.   

Event processing of course does neither necessarily works on big data nor it necessarily has to satisfy real-time constraints.

On the other hand,  real-time big data, is not necessarily event-driven and process events at all, as big data can be fairly static.    As an example for real-time big data, I'll return to an invited talk in DEBS 2011 on Watson, in which there has been a live demonstration of  the Jeopardy! game with the Watson computerized system, you can see in the picture that Paul Vincent is playing (very skilfully) the host.  

Watson is a "big data" crunching application, it has very strict real-time constraints, so it certainly can qualify as "real-time big-data", alas, it has nothing to do with event processing, in fact the data exists prior to the game  and no additional data is added during the game.

While the equality does not work,  there is an obvious relation;   in some cases there are substantial number of data inputs, which much of it can be reduced, or filtered out.   Event processing can be used to process streaming data on the fly, and not follow the paradigm of store now process later.   This is important especially one the processing is required in real-time.

More on event processing and big data -- later

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